Category Archives: Travelogue

Planning our trip with Bing Rewards

planning our trip to new orleans // a thousand threads
I do research for a living, so you probably won’t be surprised to learn that when it comes to vacations (and nearly every other new experience) I approach planning with a level of systematic compulsion few are capable of. And once the trip is underway, that doesn’t mean the research ends. One has to wonder how I ever could’ve lived in a pre-smartphone world. But the benefits just keep getting better for obsessive knowledge-seekers like me, because now a girl can find herself the proud owner of a shiny new Sephora gift card just by doing what she was already going to do — by Bing-ing the heck out of each and every little thing she wants to know.

And let me tell you, I made a dent in that gift card on this trip — but it definitely paid off in way more ways than one. My searches led us to amazing meals, places, and answers when we were lost.

Keep reading to hear about some of our absolute favorite new places we found while in New Orleans (and the best shrimp & grits on earth) all while earning Bing Rewards

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New Orleans

new orleans // a thousand threads
There are a lot of things you might say about New Orleans.

You might say it’s the most beautiful city you’ve ever seen, or the dirtiest, or that the food is beyond compare. You might say all of those things and, in some sense, when you did they would all be true. New Orleans is filled with gorgeous architecture weathered by hard summers and age, locals with a sense of humor strong enough to keep the city’s storied history of voodoo and ghosts alive and well (one apartment we saw for rent touted its apparitions as a key feature) and food so good you might find yourself sighing and carrying on to strangers for weeks on end.

Every time I visit I’m reminded that the city has more character wrapped up in one block than most can lay claim to at all. Voodoo, jazz, creole, and people that know how to party like nobody else (and can do it just about anywhere thanks to such lax drinking laws) are just a few of the things that make New Orleans stand out above the rest. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg…

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Salt Lake City and Park City

salt lake city // a thousand threads
Before we get down to the serious Alt recaps (and while I continue to nurse another cold… damn this poor immune system and those airplanes) I thought I’d share some of my shots of Salt Lake and Park City!

Because you guys — I don’t know if you know — but Utah is crazy beautiful.

I mean I had a good idea — I’d driven through the state once before — but this was my first time to Salt Lake and can we just talk about the fact that those mountains are right there?

I also had the chance to visit Park City — where people are practically skiing right into their beds the slopes are so close. And on top of it all, I spent the day with the sweetest bunch of ladies who took me along to see a screening of Boyhood at the tail end of Sundance (bucket list, check).

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Time to pack!

alt packing essentials / a thousand threadsalt packing essentials / a thousand threads
Today’s the day! I’m gathering all of the essentials to fly off to SLC in the morning. (Keep your fingers crossed that the buckets of snow currently falling outside don’t slow me down.)

And although I sort of hate packing (a lot…) I have to say I’m kind of proud of myself for being so prepared for this particular trip. I might even be done a whole day in advance!

So since I’m so super on the ball, here are a few of the essentials I’m taking along…

Top, clockwise: a big tote to carry swag / a keyboard for my tablet, to take lots of good notes / a phone to connect with new friends / a little black dress / some great accessories for said dress / a pretty pair of heels / a cute and comfy outfit for the day / red lipstick

Bottom, clockwise: my yoga tablet / some classic pearls / glasses so I can shield the sun / glasses so I can see / flats for when the heels are just too much / a pretty green dress / an even prettier matching necklace / some fancy shoes / a few little miracle workers from Nick Chavez to keep my hair in check / a very studious shirt / a lint roller

What have I missed? (Ha okay, a lot — how about a toothbrush?). So many things to think about when you’re going away.


Thanksgiving in New York

thanksgiving in new york / a thousand threadsthanksgiving in new york / a thousand threads
There is something so absurd about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade… the giant balloons, the cold, Richard Simmons riding a turtle…

And yet, it’s the absurdity that makes it all fun. I have to admit I was skeptical going in. I’m not a big fan of crowds… or the cold… or well, to be honest I kind of hate parades. Put all three together and you’re looking at my personal idea of hell. So waking up early to traipse out into the cold and the wind, just to stand for three hours and wait for a parade… no thank you. I’ll see everyone at dinner.

BUT — when you have a seven-year-old, and you really hope that it might be one of the most magical days of his little life, all of a sudden, even if you hate it all, it’s kind of hard to miss…

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A Quick Trip to NYC

nyc / a thousand threads
It was just a short trip to New York this weekend, but we made sure we fit in as much as we could.

… and by as much as we could, of course I mean food.

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Hopscotch 2013 With Lenovo

road to raleigh, hopscotch / a thousand threadsroad to raleigh, hopscotch / a thousand threads
We had an amazing time in Raleigh, but the best part (you probably could’ve guessed) was the reason we were there.

When Lenovo asked if I might like to attend this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival I was in right away. With 3 days of music, covering everything from death metal to classic folk, this up and coming little festival is doing something you don’t really see on the east coast… and it’s doing it *really* well.

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The Road to Raleigh

road to raleigh, hopscotch / a thousand threadsroad to raleigh, hopscotch / a thousand threads
While it wasn’t my first time to North Carolina, this trip was my first to Raleigh, and one of only a handful of trips I’ve ever taken to what I’d consider “the south.”

Technically, Frederick is just below the Mason-Dixon line, but any self-respecting southerner would laugh in my face if I were to claim that meant we were southern. I’m not sure where the real line is… maybe somewhere mid-Virginia, right about the time you start to see more churches than Starbucks.

So you might not be surprised to hear that I had next to no idea what to expect…

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Our First Trip to Newport Folk Fest

newport folk fest / a thousand threadsnewport folk fest / a thousand threads
Getting to Newport Folk Fest has been a dream of mine for a while now, but somehow the reality managed to be a thousand times better than I’d even imagined.

The intimacy of the shows and side-projects, where we were able to see some of our favorites perform no more than 10 feet away, and the casual, supportive family atmosphere. Newport isn’t like any other festival I’ve seen. Artists stick around for each others’ performances, hang out in the beer garden, play separate shows together in the evening, and make the whole weekend that much more special with their honest and enthusiastic presence that, let’s face it, isn’t always a given at a show.

I was totally blown away by the whole experience — and I’m counting the days until I get to go back.

Here’s a little wrap up of the shots we took, at the shows and around town…

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Boilermaker Bonus Video

Did I mention that Mark ran the whole 15k with a camera strapped to his chest?

Here’s a little bonus video he put together from the footage, just in case you were wondering what it’s like when 18,000 people descend upon a town of only about 60,000 just to run like hell and drink like crazy.

The short version? It’s pretty great.

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